Saturday, August 12, 2017

Contemplation


Graphite on paper, 11"x8.5"

This is a drawing of a handsome man in jeans relaxing on a sofa. It's a combination of portrait and figurative study of my favorite model. Somehow, even when I set out to do a figure study it becomes a portrait of that person. I like the open, lounging quality of his pose. It's so typical of the comfortably confident way men sit. There is an interesting combination of the classical and contemporary in this piece. While pondering his gentle, thoughtful expression I realized that this piece is about both my contemplation of him and his own inward contemplation.

I am a big fan of John Singer Sargent's superb male figure drawings and I've been inspired to explore drawing again after a long period of almost exclusively painting. It has been fun to focus on line and tone. I'm enjoying the spontaneity and expressive quality of these drawings.



Monday, July 31, 2017

Cesar at the Window


Oil on canvas, 10"x8"

This painting is a classic figure painting of a nude man standing at a window. His musculature is sharply defined by natural light. There is a quality of yearning to this figure as he gazes out at the world beyond the window and a great deal of atmosphere in the interior around him. 

This small painting has wonderful texture and impasto highlights with impressionistic glimpses of light and greenery in the window. While this is essentially a figure study I am always interested in conveying a sense of the human being and a mood, not just a body.



Thursday, June 22, 2017

Portrait of Young Ernest Hemingway


Oil on canvas, 10"x8"

This is a portrait of the 18 year old Ernest Hemingway at the start of his voluntary service as an ambulance driver in Italy during WWI. It's based on an old black and white photo and I thought it would be fun to paint Hemingway as though he had posed for a quick portrait study by John Singer Sargent, who went to capture the conflict in Europe as an official war artist. I kept the brushwork loose and I think it has the look of portrait from the early 20th century.

It was fascinating to contemplate the young Hemingway in this period shortly before encountering the horrors of war which would both inspire and mark him. I feel he emerged looking quite boyish yet confident, almost cocky...as though he knew that big things were ahead for him.



Monday, June 5, 2017

Girl in a Sidewalk Cafe


Oil on canvas, 12"x9"

This is a painting of a girl seated at a sidewalk cafe, gazing at the passing scene. I wanted to convey the pleasure of sitting with a cup of coffee, indulging in a contemplative mood. 

I was inspired by the Impressionist's many cafe scenes. Renoir, Degas and Manet among others depicted fashionable people of their era enjoying life. While the styles have changed, I like the continuity that some of these pleasures remain the same.



Friday, May 5, 2017

Male Sleeping Figure Study



Oil on canvas, 9"x12"

This painting is a study of a man sleeping, a theme I have painted several times. This is the most painterly version I have done so far. I took the colors and brushwork in a more experimental direction, scraping down the surface a few times and using unusual colors, multiple layers of glazes and scumbling. It created interesting textures that I like and an impressionist effect. I played with the edges to create the visual effect of dissolving the figure against the light.



Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Nude on a Victorian Sofa


Oil on canvas, 9"x12"

This is a painting of a beautiful nude woman reclining on a Victorian sofa. While this is technically not a fainting sofa and this woman is clearly not corseted, I'm enjoying alluding to that era. I like how the curves and angles of this statuesque lady's figure complements the sinuously swooping yet very proper sofa.




Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Standing Male Nude Figure Study


Oil on canvas, 12"x9"

This is a classic standing nude figure study of an exotically handsome man with a powerful physique. I like creating nudes that are also unique portraits of distinct individuals. I pushed the contrast between the cool colors of the background and the warm skin tones and the crimson drape in the lower corner to create a vibrant mood. I kept the edges crisp to make the figure pop against the background. There is vigorous brushwork throughout, especially in the shimmering impasto of the background and the fabric. The effect is that of a fine traditional academic figure study with a fresh, modern energy.